Is Overwatch 2 Worth Playing?
Overwatch 2, the sequel to the original Overwatch released by Blizzard in May of 2016, has been met with a range of reactions. Since its release in the fall of 2022, gamers have been trying to decide if the sequel is worth it.
As with any other follow-up game in a franchise, Overwatch 2 was expected to meet the elusive standard of innovating enough to make it a fresh and worthwhile game while also staying true to its roots. These expectations may be hard to meet, but they ensure that new games continue to be simultaneously challenging and fun.
With a new batch of content releasing on August 10th, the developers continue to invest time and energy into making improvements. The highly anticipated release of new content, which will consist of new missions, heroes and more, has also sparked another wave of interest in the game.
Whether or not the game has managed to meet the expectations for a sequel is still a topic of debate now. No matter which side you fall on, the fact that the verdict is still pending on Overwatch 2 proves its continued relevance.
What is the difference between Overwatch and Overwatch 2?
The majority of changes to Overwatch 2 have been focused on PvP elements of gameplay (player vs. player for the uninitiated), but new PvE content may be released with updates.
Some of these changes are admittedly minor tweaks. To name a few examples of this, the scoreboard is a bit new, and there are also new Hero voice lines. It may sound superficial, but for those players who are invested in the story, hearing the Heroes say different things and react in new ways will sharpen their interest.
On the other hand, some of the changes to Overwatch 2 are relatively substantial. In addition to the slight modification of pre-existing maps, new maps are also available that expand the territory of the game and add a layer of novelty for seasoned players.
In terms of the characters, there are several aspects of note. For one, there are new characters available in the sequel. Overwatch 2 introduces Sojourn as a Damage hero, for example, while also introducing Junker Queen as a new Tank hero. Sojourn, one of the new characters players were most excited for, is described as Overwatch’s “most skilled technician.”
Her “cybernetic augmentations” have added to her natural talent and made her more effective in fighting all of the evils of the world. Additionally, new skins are available for playable characters, which extends the aesthetic choices available.
Gameplay itself also received some major updates between Overwatch and Overwatch 2. Overwatch 2, after all, introduced the new Push mode. Similar to the pre-existing Escort mode, Push mode gives your team and the enemy team the combined task of maintaining control of a robot named TS1 for the length of an entire match. While in control of the robot, you can push a Barricade toward the enemy spawn.
Additionally, players can now “ping” an enemy’s location. It may sound like a small tweak, but it adds a substantial element of surprise to the game that may play a role in making Overwatch 2 seem worthwhile.
Most controversially perhaps, the Battle Pass that was introduced as a part of Overwatch 2 has also impacted gameplay in a profound way, increasing the amount of time it takes to level up.
Is Overwatch 2 worth playing?
Whether or not Overwatch 2 is good or worth playing is a major question regarding the game. A major component of this question is the amount and depth of changes that were made to the game: are there a lot of changes? Do these changes significantly improve gameplay, or are they ill-intentioned switches that negatively impact the experience and stray from the successful formula of the first game? Clearly these are subjective questions that everyone will answer a bit differently.
One user summed up a common view when they pointed out that although Overwatch 2 does attempt some improvements, they fail to turn the sequel into a truly worthwhile effort, offering nothing that other games on the market do not.
Additionally, the same user criticized the intensity of the “freemium” model: though this is the same model from the original Overwatch, it is extended in the sequel, where many heroes are essentially inaccessible without payment. Where the first game gave users a fairer exchange of in-game quests and challenges for upgrades and new features, the second game demands an unreasonable amount of time to access them.
This negative development is tied to the controversial Battle Pass feature. With the Battle Pass, users typically need to spend 3-5 hours a week for the weekly bonuses and 1-2 hours per day for the daily bonuses.
That said, other users had more positive experiences. One user on Reddit, though acknowledging that Overwatch 2 fails to “flip the formula” the way a sequel really should, also believes that Overwatch 2 delivered well enough to restore their “faith in the franchise”.
Additionally, Overwatch has released some fresh interactive game modes that add new elements to the game. The new Prop Hunt mode offers an experience somewhat similar to hide and seek, where a team of Kiriko Props hides and Genji Hunters try to find them. Players have remarked that this is a positive improvement that adds substantial variety to the gameplay.
Clearly, opinions are somewhat divided. With these differing viewpoints, gamers unfamiliar with Overwatch 2 will have to play the game themselves to decide, which means it’s important to know how much Overwatch 2 costs. Though the game is “freemium,” meaning free to download but requiring payment to unlock certain features, it may help to know how much certain updates will cost.
One of the options is to purchase the Overwatch 2: Invasion Bundle for $15 USD. This bundle includes access to the Invasion Story Missions, 1,000 Overwatch Coins, a Sojourn Legendary skin, and permanent access to Sojourn as a playable character.
For a more economic choice, you can purchase the Hero Collection for $5 USD starting on August 10th, and for a more inclusive bundle, check out the Complete Hero Collection for $20 USD.
Though opinions are divided on Overwatch 2, there are still many users who believe it’s a good game, and if you’re a first-time player, it’s certainly worth trying for yourself.
For those potential players who are worried about the most exciting game features being locked behind a paywall, check out this deal: if you purchase an Nvidia 40 series PC or GPU, you’ll receive a free battle pass and 1000 coins. Take advantage of the superior performance and reliability of the GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs while getting a head start on Overwatch 2!
Matthew is a freelance content writer whose work has previously appeared in well-known language-learning blog Fluent in 3 Months and The Happy Self-Publisher. His creative work has also appeared in Otoliths, CafeLit, and the Eunoia Review. He is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan, where he is studying for a master's degree in Chinese Literature.